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bind them down to flavery, and to overthrow the republican conftitution of the third year; to manifeft to them the fentiments and the hopes of the legislature, and at the fame time to guard against the manoeuvres which the accomplices of the confpirators may attempt, in order to deceive them,
Declare that there is urgency, and adopt the following refolution:
Article I. The legislative body makes to the departments and to the armies the following addrefs :
"Frenchmen, we owe to you the truth: we are about to tell you the truth.
"A confpiracy, which has for its object to establish in France a throne, and with privileges and vexations, a thousand times more odious than those which were aboifhed by your will; a confpiracy conftantly unmafked, and yet never deftroyed, had again brought the republic to the brink of an abyfs. The government, by its wifdom and its firmnefs, difconcerted the action at the moment when it was on the point of breaking out. One, night more, and an eternal mourning would have covered our country! One night more, and an arbitrary defpotifm would have raifed her hideous head, and fealed her ufurpation on the bodies of all thofe who had more or lefs ferved the caufe of liberty! Men, who had no other ambition of popular power than to exercife it againft the people, laboured for a long time in the execution of this execrable project; for the most part chiefs of the infurgents of Vendemiaire, hardened by impunity, refumed the thread of their intrigues; they ftill corref ponded more audacionfly than ever
with the agents of the pretender, Louis XVIII. The confeffions of one of these royal agents (Duverne Duprefle) bear teftimony to the fact. Their letters taken at Venice, their correfpondence with the emigrants and the principal rebels, prove it. All the documents are made public. Their means were,-1st. The extinction of all public national fpirit. 2d. The affaffination of every man whom they branded with the title Suspected of Patriotism, and the impunity granted to the affaffins by the tribunals fold to royalifm. 3d. The extinction of the financial refources of the state. 4th. The vilifying of the government and the republican inftitutions. 5th. Civil war to be kindled in different points of the republic. 6th. Internal fafety to be deftroyed, and all the roads intercepted. 7th. By the ftarving of the national creditor, the artifan, and the foldier. And finally, 8th. By the active fabrication of all forts of laws fubverfive of the constitution.
"This end, and all these means, will not aftonish you, as you will learn by the authentic documents found, that their nominations, ordered beforehand, and regulated by particular offices of counterrevolution in all the departments, were founded on a general plan, formed and organized under the name of the Society of Legitimate Sons ; a fociety, one of whofe rules was the moft abfolute, the most blind devotion of its members to the orders that fhould be given them by their unknown chiefs. It was by thefe means, French citizens, that you have feen fpring out all at once, from the bofom of your primary and electoral affemblies, this crowd of delegates, hitherto un
known in the revolution, or known only by their incivifm the most revolting. It was by these means that there was formed, in almoft every place, a majority of men, feduced, bribed, or deluded, whofe fpeaking conftantly under fpecial mandate, and employing themselves only in the overthrow of the republic, made us doubt whether their constituents refided in France or at Blankenburgh. It was thus that the votes of the true citizens were of no avail in the elections; and that, with the exception of a fmall number of affemblies where their voices were attended to, almost everywhere the votes of crime and of royal intrigue were triumphant. We may conceive how, establishing themselves the judges of their own elections, they haftened to declare them good or bad as it fuited their purpose: fometimes making an argument of the majority of voters, to cover their violences, the denial of justice, and the unconftitutional nature of these affemblies; and fometimes oppofing protests, obfcure, and without character, to the formal wills of a republican majority. Certainly it is wonderful that, with fo many means of corruption, and of deftructive influence, fome nominations-nay, that one fingle place fhould efcape them; as, after a vaft conflagration, we fometimes fee with astonishment fome buildings refpected by the flames.
"We will not recall to you, citizens, what has been the deplorable fuccefs of these atrocious combinations. In Floreal, peace, honourable and folid, fmiled propitious to our wishes it is flown. Could it refide in a land in convulfon, ready to cover itself with blood
National credit had taken confiftency; the creditor was about to be paid; falaries were difcharged in currency; and in an inftant, mifery and penury returned to burft upon France. The creditor funk into defpair; the infcriptions, which were at forty, fell to ten; the armies without pay, without clothing :-the armies that had triumphed over Europe-oh fhame! oh grief!were obliged to live either upon requifition, or upon the product of their courage. And yet a hideous laugh efcaped from the lips of the artificers of counter-revolution; each day they faw the embarraffments of government augment, each day they increafed them more and more; interpretations the moft forced, want of faith the most imprudent, every thing was good in their eyes, provided they attained the defired end. The labourers in fanaticifm were recalled; a scandalous and public traffic for the erafure of emigrants was openly carried on. Citizens, alarmed by thefe appearances, affembled to confer together: the right of meeting was interdicted; they reclaimed their rights; they were treated as feditious, and as cut-throats: they complained of miferable men being affaffinated; to which it was answered, that vengeance was legitimate, and crime was erected into fyftem. A new revolution, a thousand times more bloody than the firft, was iffuing from every pore of the body politic; but fome indifcretions, fome figns of premature joy, betrayed the confpirators; they began to take pride in the title of royalifts; a feparation, the avant-courier of affaffination, took place between the profcribers and the profcribed. They firft entitled themselves the
true reprefentatives; the others were no longer confidered as their colleagues; judgment was paffed upon them; they were republicans. Arms were diftributed, poniards were made, many of which were feized along with the cards of rendezvous; registers of inrolment were opened. Oh country! oh fecret and noble fentiment of liberty! generous offspring of honour and of national pride, what art thou become ? Oh juftice, morality, humanity! names fo often profaned, ye focial and public virtues, where have ye taken refuge? They live in the armies!
"This intrepid advanced guard of a nation, whofe deftruction had been fworn by traitors, faithful to its oath, rung the alarm; its cry was heard throughout all France; it was heard in the camp of the enemy; it ftruck difmay to the fouls of the traitors. Then they changed their plan; without being lefs active, they feigned an extenfive moderation, to diminish the means of refiftance which they dreaded. But it was done; the reveille was beat; the government, that had been fo long deceived, now recollected that it also was the repofitory of the conftitution, and guardian of the deftinies of the republic. In the two councils a majority, courageous and clear-fighted, conftantly in open combat with a faction unmasked, no longer defpaired of bringing back to their fide thofe faithful members that the party had only inlifted by deceiving them. They perceived that the conftitution, in not foreseeing the cafe of a faction of legiflators overthrowing it, even by furrounding themfelves with the appearance of its forms, left, by this very omiffion, to thofe
who were defirous to fave it, the right of employing every fort of meafure to that purpose, and that it was abfurd to pretend, that if a factious or deceived minority fhould decree the abrogation of the republic, all the powers inftituted by the conftitution ought to fhut their eyes, and execute the decree.
"Frenchmen, the event did not deceive their hopes; and this time again, as in the tennis-court, Providence, the preferver of knowledge, of the virtues, and of liberty, protected the republic! You know the refult of the memorable day of the 18th Fructidor: the confpirators were arrefted; the legiflative body, freed from oppreffion, and enlightened on the reiterated manoeuvres of the guilty, feeling their own dignity and their duties were not wanting to the one, while they difcharged the other with courage. They did not, and they ought not to place any confiderations whatfoever, in circumftances fo imperious, in the balance with the fafety of the country and the conftitution; but in ftriking down the confpirators, they did not forget that they reprefented a fenfible and great nation, and that they ought to preserve to it its character. Thefe men, who talked of humanity while they were meditating affaffinations; these men, who would not have fpared the life of a fingle republican, are going to lead their own lives far from us with remorfe and opprobrium: they are tranfported.
"Not a drop of blood, not an act of violence or diforder, has ftained this day. Thus, this great and wife attitude of Frenchmen, and particularly of our brothers in arms, on this terrible occafion, in completing their eulogium, attests
the baseness and infamy of those who, in their criminal correfpondence, and in their audacious libels, have dared to paint Frenchmen as robbers and ruffians. The conftitution is their fortune; they have fealed it with their blood; they will not fuffer it to be attacked; Frenchmen have placed it between royalty and anarchy, and they know how to keep it in its place.
"Oh ye fathers, mothers, hufbands, children! whom the remembrance of the misfortunes and the difafters of the revolution have irritated, confider with affright what a horrible revolution they have prepared for you anew; and may this fentiment remove for ever from your hearts, thofe barbarous enmities, thofe murderous oppofitions, which diffolve a nation, and involve it in a deluge of calamities!
"Citizens, the mischief unmasked will no doubt try to calumniate us, and to arm you one against another. Thefe calumnies we defpife, but we cannot defpife your peril. We have told you the truth; do you examine the intereft of those who fhall speak to you in other language. The legislative body conjures you to this-repel far from you every perfidious infinuation; let not England and Auftria tear from you the fruits of this laft victory, which clofes at length the revolution. Let us gather round the conftitution; let us think and feel that its spirit and its letter ought never to be feparated.
"Oh! if after twenty years of this civil war, that they wifhed to inflict upon us, and of the frightful catastrophes that would be its neceffary confequences, a beneficent genius were to bring us this conftiLution of the third year, with what
transport should we not receive it! what tears of gratitude would it not make us fhed! what newest hopes would it not revive in families reduced to defolation!-Well, we have it, we poffefs it, let us learn to preferve it. As to you, Frenchmen, it is to your union, it is to your confidence, that we are to look for encouragement. Returning presently to our ordinary labours, all our cares will be to close the wounds which our enemies are ftriving to enlarge. The reftoration of the finances, of commerce, of industry, of agriculture; the folace of the indigent claffes, of the hofpitals, of the national creditor; the debt of our immortal defenders, will demand our firft regards. Peace alfo, that confoling peace which is acquired by victory, fhall fpeedily come, and we have the folid hope of it, to confolidate all our triumphs, and to repair all our loffes. If, on the contrary, the enemy fhould be obftinate, to precipitate their own deftruction, may the union of our good citizens, may their attachment to the conftitution and government of the third y year, be at once their defpair, and the pledge of their approaching ruin!
"Magiftrates, adminiftrators, functionaries, the voice of your 'country calls you back to your pofts. Everywhere in a republic, that man is in the field of honour who conducts himself as a republican. Men of letters, you whom the defpotifm of calumny reduced to filence, refume your priftine energy; commence your republican inftruction; make the coward apologifts of flavery to blush; aid also the legislative body and the government; form the manners of the nation.
"Frenchmen, unity of action is re-established between the two great powers, not that which refults from the dependence of one of them, but that which produces the harmony of reciprocal wills. We have expofed to you our conduct and our principles; our life is altogether devoted to the maintenance of the republic; we will not fay that we are merely ready to lofe our lives in combating the factions, but we fwear to you that we will overcome them,"
The following Proclamations have been published by the Directory. On their Authenticity no great Reliance can be placed. Thus much, however, must be faid, that the Pretender has not thought fit to disavow them.
LOUIS XVIII. TO THE FRENCH.
A PROFOUND grief penetrates our breaft every time we fee Frenchmen groaning in captivity, through their attachment to the fafety of France. But will it fatisfy your tyrants to have procured new victims In this confpiracy which they impute to them, in the papers they publifh fo faftidioufly, will they not feek pretexts to calumniate our intentions? Is it not to be dreaded, finally, that, either by forging papers, or by throwing out fubtle infinuations, they will attempt to paint us to you in falfe colours?
It is our duty to admonish you against a perfidy which the experience of what is paft authorizes us to forefee; it is our duty to manifeft to you the fentiments with which our heart is filled. The tyrants envelope themselves in the fades of mystery; a father dreads not to be feen by his children.
Thofe of our faithful subjects whom we have appointed to inftruct you as to your true interefts, will retrace in this paper the inftructions they have received. Thofe whom the purity of their zeal and the wifdom of their principles will entitle to our confidence in future, will here read aforehand the inftructions which will be given to them. Finally, all the French who, fharing our love for the country, wish to concur towards faving it, will inftruct themselves in the rules they ought to follow; and all France, acquainted with the end to which every one fhould concur in concert, and the means which ought to be employed, will form a judgment for itfelf of the good which it ought to expect from them.
We have faid to our agents, (note, by the Directory, Dunan, Brottier, and Lavilluernois) and we repeat to them inceffantly, " Bring' back our people to the holy religion of their forefathers, and to the paternal government which fo long conftituted the glory and happiness of France. Explain to them that the conftitution of the ftate has been calumniated, because it has been mifunderstood. Inftruct them to diftinguish it from the regime which had been too long introduced. Shew them that it is alike oppofite to anarchy and defpotifm, the two fcourges which are as odious to us as they are to them, but which have alternately afflicted France fince fhe has no longer had a King. Confult wife and enlightened men as to the new degrees of perfection, of which that conftitution may be fufceptible, and make known to them the forms it has prefcribed to effect its own amelioration. Affirm that we have adopted the most efficacious